Fun Dice Snake Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 20, 2022 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Dice snake facts, found commonly in Hungary, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, and other Eurasian countries.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.3 Min

Most people find snakes dangerous cold-blooded animals whether they are poisonous or not. The reason may be because of the fear the person developed internally. But the fact is, not all snakes are harmful. So let us explore some interesting facts about such nonvenomous dice snake belonging to the Natricinae subfamily and Natrix genus.

This dice snake, Natrix tessellata (Laurenti, 1768), is available in wetlands and water-abundant areas and is also named a watersnake by many Cretans. Still, this name belongs to the other species of Natrix natrix, which vanished from the island.

Though not confirmed, most researchers state that this dice snake of Crete belongs to a separate species rather than Natrix tessellata.

To safeguard themselves, these snakes sometimes bite or emit strong-smelling liquid. Owing to its acting skills, it pretends to be dead by turning its body upside down and keeping its tongue out by widely opening its mouth.

To know more details about distribution and other fascinating facts about this harmless, non-venomous European snake, goes through our detailed content below. To read about other snake species, just click on these great basin gopher snake and blind snake facts.

Dice Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dice snake?

The dice snake, Natrix tessellata, is a Eurasian non-venomous snake belonging to Colubridae, and subfamily Natricinae is also called a watersnake. Colubridae is a vast snake family with 249 genera. This snake lives mostly near water sources such as ponds, lakes, streams. This reptile is specialized in hunting for its food near and aquatic resources.

What class of animal does a dice snake belong to?

A dice snake is an intelligent snake. When threatened, this reptile pretends to be dead to protect itself from predators. It is an atoxic snake belonging to the Reptilia class and Animalia kingdom. Reptilia class animals are the first organisms who adopted life on earth.

How many dice snakes are there in the world?

The exact number of dice snakes around the world is unknown. This snake species are one of the widely spread populations in the world. But a large population of these snakes is originated in Europe and Asian countries.

Where does a dice snake live?

The distribution of dice snake, Natrix tessellata, is throughout most of the Eurasian countries: Romania, Italy, Czech, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Croatia, Poland, Switzerland, Syria, Yemen, Hungary, India, Serbia, Russia, Slovenia, Greece, Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Ukraine, and many more countries. In addition, this species is widely spread in Iran's Southern Caspian Sea Coast.

This species is also based in Egypt.

What is a dice snake's habitat?

The dice snake, Natrix tessellata, is also called water snake and has its habitat near water resources and wetlands such as moving streams, sea-coast, lakes, rock pools of Crete. It is also found near human habitations such as tanks and irrigation channels. It is observed that the grass snake and dice snake share similar Eurasian habitats.

Who does the dice snake live with?

This snake is a solitary animal that hunts and eats in solitude. However, during the breeding season, these dice snakes are found in large groups between March-May.

How long does a dice snake live?

The exact life span of the dice snake is not known. But the life span of the European grass snake belonging to the same subfamily Natricinae is 15 years in the wild and is a close relative of the dice snake.

How do they reproduce?

The dice snakes adopt sexual reproduction, which is dioecious. The mating season is between March-April-May.

During the mating season, the dice snake, Natrix tessellata, was found living in large groups. The female lays eggs in moist sheltered environments such as rotting vegetation, crevices of stone walls, usually in July, consists of 10-30 eggs per clutch. The young or juveniles hatch in early September.

What is their conservation status?

As per IUCN red list, the conservation status of the dice snake, Natrix tessellata, is Least Concern. Still, its population is rapidly decreasing because of roadkill, collection of these snakes for the pet trade, pollution, persecution by people.

Dice snakes, N tessellata, are non-venomous harmless snakes widely distributed in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa. A large population of these snakes is found in the Dobruja region of Romania.

Recent studies suggest that the population of these Romania-based snakes is threatened. Since 2005 the population of the ruins of Histria in the Dobruja region, Romania is under study by many researchers. A joint research program by Romanian–Swedish–Czech countries studied the population biology and parasitic threats on the coastal population of these species.

This species of snakes have substantial populations in the Balkans. The Balkans are also known as the Balkan peninsula in Southeastern Europe. Studies prove that the snakes on Golem Grad Island suffer many threats from humans. A vast number of snakes are killed by poachers every year.

Dice Snake Fun Facts

What does a dice snake look like?

The dice snake, which lives mainly in Eastern Europe and Western parts of Asia, is a reptile whose length is 39-51 in (1.0–1.3 m ) and mass 14 oz (419.6 g). Its upperside is in grayish-green to brownish or black color with almost two rows of black spots on its back.

These rows of dark spots are also available on the flanks. The belly color varies from yellow to orange with black spots resembles dice.

They may reach up to 60 in (1.5 m). The scales on the surface are strongly keeled at the upper side of the head.

On dice snakes, the body is covered with black spots similar to dice, hibernates in dry holes.

How cute are they?

The beauty and cuteness of any creature are defined from the person's perspective. Some people find this European-based snake attractive because of its green to black color and black spots on its body which are similar to dice, and these species are harmless to humans.

At the same time, some people are afraid of these cold-blooded serpents because of their repulsive nature.

How do they communicate?

No pertinent information is available on how these dice snakes communicate with each other. To defend themselves, snake species generally use methods such as hissing and masking. They also use body language, pheromones, and the vomeronasal system to communicate. Another interesting fact is that the snakes have internal ears.

How big is a dice snake?

This European dice snake is 39-51 in (1-1.3 m) long and weighs around 14 oz (419.6 g). It is comparatively larger in length than the common grass snake, whose length is 24-36 in (0.6-1 m).

How fast can a dice snake move?

The exact speed of the water-based dice snake is not known. In general, the average speed of a snake is 5-8 mph or 8-13 kph. This dice snake is an excellent swimmer, spends most of the time hunting in the fresh and salty waters, reaching up to 0.62 mi (1000 m) altitude.

How much does a dice snake weigh?

The weight of this Europe-based watersnake is 14 oz (419.6 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of the snakes are called male dice snake and female dice snake, respectively. Female species are bigger than the male. Female dice snakes exhibit fewer ventral and subcaudal counts than male species. Studies state that the female dice snake available in Umbria (Italy) is bigger than males.

What would you call a baby dice snake?

Some snakes lay eggs, and some others give birth to neonates. For example, a dice snake lays eggs; so in general, the baby dice snake is called a snakelet. One interesting fact is that the baby snakes never live with the mother. The immature snake is named a juvenile.

What do they eat?

This snake lives near water resources such as ponds, streams, and lakes called water snakes. This snake frequently feeds on aquatic and water-based animals such as fish and feeds other amphibians such as toads, tadpoles, and frogs.

Are they poisonous?

Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata Laurenti, 1768) do not have any venom, so they are harmless non-venomous snakes. However, this snake produces a neurotoxin in its mouth. But to safeguard itself, it spread a bad-smelling secretion from its cloaca. This species is a brilliant snake that uses the thanatosis (playing dead) mechanism.

Would they make a good pet?

Some people have a hobby of rearing snakes as pets. As the dice snake is a Eurasian nonvenomous snake and is harmless, snake lovers can go for this snake as a pet. In some areas, the dice snake is a common pet snake as a pet along with the grass snake.

To maintain this snake species as a pet, you must understand its living conditions. A secure glass container or model with proper lighting is better suitable for this species. They are very good at climbing heights; caution should be taken the glass container is at least 23 in (60 cm) tall.

If the vivarium is too wet, the snake may face some skin problems, so they should have a chance to dry out entirely in the vivarium if the water source is available. The amphibians, like fish, are the best food source in captivity.

Did you know...

As per studies, apart from fish the diet of this dice snake also consists of other reptiles such as lizards and also small creatures like snails and worms.

The inland taipan is also known as western taipan, is the most poisonous snake in the world. It is mostly found in semi-arid regions of Eastern central Australia.

The common European adder or common European viper is the most venomous snake in Europe. It is widely spread and lives widely in Western Europe as far as East Asia.

Do dice snakes hibernate?

Hibernation is when animals save their energy to survive in adverse cold temperatures. During this process, the movement of the animals is slowed down, and some other animals go to deep sleep and wake up by spring.

Dice snakes, N. tessellata, undergo hibernation in dry holes between October to April. They prefer places beside water resources.

Which country has no snakes in the world?

Have you ever wondered if there is any snakeless nation in this world? You will be surprised to know that there is a small island nation of New Zealand with zero snakes. But, unfortunately, this snake-free nation is near Australia, consisting of many venomous snakes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our giant garter snake facts and king brown snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable dice snake coloring pages.

Dice Snake Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fish, toads, tadpoles, and frogs

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

10-30 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

14 oz (419.6 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

near rivers, streams, seashores, and lakes

Where Do They Live?

eastern europe and asian countries, romania, italy, czech, turkey

How Long Were They?

39-51 in (1-1.3 m)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Natrix tessellata

What Do They Look Like?

Grayish-green to black

Skin Type

Dry scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

birds of prey, humans

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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